Lyon County elementary schools to receive funds to benefit STEM programs

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Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

Each of the nine elementary schools in Lyon County will be receiving funding for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs through a $50,000 donation from Google to Sierra Nevada Journeys, a Northern Nevada-based organization focused on delivering science education programs to youth in order to develop critical thinking skills.

Sierra Nevada Journeys is offering scholarships to every elementary school Lyon County, Storey County, Washoe County and Carson City.

“These programs are vital to connecting Nevada’s students with science and outdoor stewardship,” said Kate Franko, Google’s Regional Head of Public Affairs. “We’re proud to support the work of Sierra Nevada Journeys. There’s nothing better to get kids excited about science and engineering than taking those lessons outdoors, no matter the grade level.”

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The education organization’s STEM Enrichment Fund supports scholarships for their benchmark Classrooms Unleashed and Family STEM Nights. Classrooms Unleashed is offered to 1st-6th grade students, combining classroom and field-based programming designed to meet grade-specific Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Family STEM Nights bring the whole family unit together via science activities to help students engage more with their school curriculum. These programs will be prioritized for students and schools with financial barriers to participation.

“We’re thrilled that Google’s supports STEM scholarships that will help students in Title 1 schools that have historically been denied access to high quality STEM programs and outdoor experiences,” said Sean Hill, Vice President of Advancement with Sierra Nevada Journeys. “On average, students receive less than three hours per week of science at the elementary school level. They’re also spending 15 times more on screens (phones, computers, tablets, etc.) than time spent outdoors; and that figure only increased this past year due to the pandemic. We look forward to turning this statistic around in Nevada.”

Google’s donation will be used for direct program expenses, as well as funding for more education personnel. For more information on Sierra Nevada Journeys, visit https://www.sierranevadajourneys.org.

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